'No Jurisdiction': Oklahoma Supreme Court Makes Ruling Regarding Controversial Edmond School Library Books

Justices with the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled decisions over what is in school libraries lies with local boards, not with the state, and the Oklahoma State Board of Education cannot force Edmond Public Schools to remove two books from its high school libraries.

Wednesday, June 12th 2024, 5:05 am



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Justices from the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled the Oklahoma State Board of Education cannot force Edmond Public Schools to remove two books from its high school libraries.

In its ruling, justices from the court say decisions over what is in school libraries lies with local boards, not with the state.

The Oklahoma State Department of Education ordered the district to remove two books, 'The Glass Castle' and 'The Kite Runner' from its high school libraries, saying they are inappropriate for children.

OSDE also threatened Edmond's accreditation if it failed to comply, however Edmond Schools answered the order by filing a petition with the court.

"We conclude a local school board possesses statutory authority to maintain and control its local school library," the justices ruling said. "No statute gives the State Board of Education, State Department of Education, and Superintendent of Public Instruction the authority to overrule a local school board's exercise of discretion in applying its local community standards for books in a local school library."

In a statement from Edmond Schools, the district said the decision protects locally elected school board’s role in creating policies that determine how library materials are selected and reviewed.

State Supt. Ryan Walters also responded, saying he will explore all available tools to act.

"The legislature must act and reign out of control access to pornography in schools that our kids are exposed to," Walters said. "Ambiguity and indecision are never acceptable..."

This is not the first time these books have been singled out for removal, with critics taking issue with explicit content and language within the material.

RELATED: Edmond Superintendent Responds After District Ordered To Remove Books From Library Shelves

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